The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars this week released a report on China’s relationships with U.S. higher education. “A Preliminary Study of PRC Political Influence and Interference Activities in American Higher Education
” found that the challenges posed by the Chinese government’s “influence activities” at U.S. universities are real, but that our institutions are well-equipped to manage these challenges, especially if they work collaboratively with each other and with federal agencies charged with protecting national security. Because of these concerns and as a way to help our members respond to inquiries, I sent a letter over the summer to member presidents whose institutions have Confucius Institutes, recommending best practices moving forward.
These issues continue to be critical, and we are continuing discussions with congressional and administration officials on how best to address the growing security concerns. I recently participated in a meeting with the House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology in a follow up to the April 11 hearing
on “Scholars and Spies: Foreign Plots Targeting America’s Research and Development” and the letter
we sent to the FBI regarding the dissolution of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board.
As a result of that letter, we have been working closely with our higher education association colleagues and the FBI to continue this dialogue. Next week, the FBI will convene a summit with higher education leaders, FBI leadership, and representatives from federal science agencies. I also will be participating in that meeting and will report back next week on the discussion.